Posted 8:49 AM ET | Comments 3
Just saying it or hearing it said, conveys everything you need to know.
It's do or die.
And in this case...game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals...it's the end of the line for BOTH teams.
After tonight, one team will have the summer to enjoy the hardware...and one team will have the summer to ponder "what might have been".
The Penguins are probably given a little better chance than a "snowball in hell" to win this game 7. They have history against them, both long term and very recent (like games 1, 2 and 5), and they are playing the defending cup champions...who everybody expects to repeat.
It's that last statement that I think is interesting.
Once Detroit beat the Ducks in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, I think most of the hockey world thought..."Well, there it is...back to back Cups for the Wings."
Even though the Pens have taken this series to a game 7, I still think most people believe that the Wings will do it again.
It's even difficult for me to realistically imagine them losing a cup finals game 7 on home ice.
But going into this game, my ONE hope is that NONE of the Penguins are thinking this way.
Really NONE of that matters...unless they allow it to.
From a players perspective, the Penguins only need to be realistic about one thing...that the Red Wings will be tough to beat.
Past that, throw any other realistic thoughts out the window...and go for the cup!
Amazingly, and as unrealistic as it may sound --- in a season that seemed lost as mid February approached...and seemed to be slipping away, not once, but twice in the playoffs as the club fell into 0-2 holes against the Capitals and these Red Wings...the Penguins have managed to put themselves in the SAME position as the Red Wings....
If they win...they get to skate with the hardware.
ANY hockey player would take that...regardless of the odds...in a nano second.
As Sindey Crosby said, there really is a great opportunity at hand for the Penguins.
I hope they can concentrate on this opportunity and "live in the moment". If they can, then I think they will play their best hockey and will have a good chance to bring home the cup.